How is Augmented Reality Transforming the Travel and Tourism Industry?

Updated on Jan 15th, 2024


If you have ever encountered the Pokemon Go app or the L’Oreal app, then you might have an idea of how the Augmented Reality works. It is a robust technology that makes everything appears as if it were a physical entity, and that enhances the user experience. That’s what is happening today in the travel and tourism industry

Augmented Reality is creating incredible opportunities in the tourism sector with its amazing and attractive functionalities. Imagine visiting the great landscapes of Swiss, and the great historical monuments of Italy and Rome without even leaving your living room! Yes, all that today is possible because of a robust technology called Augmented Reality. And due to the amazing benefits of AR in the travel and tourism sector, many leading businesses are even investing heavily in the AR app development sector.

Almost all the big players in the global market today have a dedicated mobile application. In such a scenario, AR is serving as an exceptional resource to helps brands stand apart from the competition and growth their user-base and revenues. Unlike VR, augmented reality does not cut the person with the real world, instead, it overlays the digital components of a place on the real ones to create a visually appealing environment.  

AR has much more to do with the travel and tourism industry, and that’s what our today’s article is all about! In our today’s post, we will be covering the top ways in which AR is revolutionizing the travel and tourism industry in an effective way. So, let’s get started!

Market Scenario of AR in the Tourism Sector

Before beginning with the scope of AR in the tourism sector, let us first have a quick glance at how the aforementioned technology is performing presently in the global market. The global market is slowly becoming habitable with AR technology, all thanks to interactive games like Pokemon Go. 

According to Statista, AR technology is predicted to grow from $5.91 billion to $198 billion by the end of 2025. Furthermore, it is also predicted that there will be almost 1.96 billion mobile AR users across the globe in the coming years. AR has shown tremendous growth in the past few years, and its benefits in the travel and tourism industry have gained much momentum than ever. Many big market leaders are investing in this robust technology. 

Here’s a chart by Statista, that shows the number of users of mobile AR from 2019 to 2023 (in billions).  


After carefully analyzing the graph and the aforementioned stats, it can be clearly said that AR in the tourism sector came out as a boon. And with the further use of AR mobile apps, the user experience can be greatly enhanced with the reduction in cost simultaneously.      

Importance of Augmented Reality in the Travel and Tourism Industry

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Now that you are aware of the present condition of Augmented Reality in today’s digital world, let us quickly discuss the importance of AR in the tourism sector. 

1. Interactive Maps

The first and foremost benefit of Augmented Reality in the tourism sector is customized and interactive maps. A traveller’s most crucial aspect is always knowing where to go and how to reach there fastly. And when it comes to an unfamiliar site, travellers are expected to lose some of the sightseeings.

However, with AR apps, that issue is much eliminated today. The travel companies today heavily invest in outsourcing mobile app developers to create customized and effective AR mobile apps. 

Apple Maps, for example, is planning to develop an interactive AR map, that besides common features will also display a navigation layer with video to guide travellers in every route! That’s a great initiative to make the journey of your users more comfortable.   

2. Real-time Information

Information is much needed by every person not just before initiating any trip, but even while travelling, to explore other good places.even when the customer arrives at the destination, the need of information doesn’t stop! But, real-time information is a bit difficult to obtain by traditional methods.

However, with AR, nothing is difficult! Augmented Reality offers real-time information to the user 24/7 seamlessly on their desired devices. That becomes handy as if any of the certain physical condition gets change, then it can be brought to the attention of the user via their smartphones.  

3. Better Brand Marketing

Another vital aspect of any travel business is brand marketing. In today’s competitive world, advertisement and digital marketing have become a crucial part of the business strategy. The businesses have to spend a substantial amount on the marketing of the brand. 

However, what if I told you that there is another efficient and cost-effective way of marketing your travel agency? Yes, you heard it right – with Augmented Reality apps! Today, many leading hotels, airlines, and travel agencies are outsourcing experienced software engineering firms to develop an effective AR mobile app for marketing and advertising.

With a dedicated AR app, the hotels can provide a 3D view of their hotel rooms along with the interactive destination map so that customers could simply book their hotels with just a click, moreover, the airlines and other travel brands are offering excellent reviews and ratings of their services with customer feedback on the AR apps so that users could get an idea of how good they are!   

4. Seamless Translation

Effective communication is the key to success and in every field of the global market, and when it comes to the travel and tourism industry, then its importance increases significantly. Often the travellers face the problem of language in certain parts of the world, and if that problem is solved, then it enhances their travel experience to a much greater extent.

With AR mobile apps, this problem could also be solved in seconds. Google translator, for example, has an AR camera attached to it, that quickly scans and translates the text into the user understandable language. With AR apps, the users can translate the menus or other texts that are not understandable by them.  

5. Improved Travel Experience

Last but not least, we have an enhanced travel experience. As discussed above, with Augmented Reality, the users get so many benefits. Whether it is for maps, or for translations, or even for customer reviews and services, AR mobile apps can quickly provide any sort of information to enhance the user experience.

Due to extensive help from AR apps, the overall travel experience of the users increases significantly, resulting in ease and comfort!

How AR can be used in the Travel and Tourism Industry?

 After knowing the benefits of Augmented Reality in the travel and tourism industry, one question that might come to your mind is –  how can AR be used in the travel and tourism industry? What are the use cases of AR apps in the tourism sector?

If you have questions like these in your mind, then do not worry, we have got you covered! Here are a few ways in which Augmented Reality can be used in travel app development.

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1. AR in Hotels

The first and foremost application of Augmented Reality in the travel and tourism sector is in finding the best hotels. The hotel brands can leverage AR mobile apps to offer the best experience to the users. With 3D views and 360-degree visual tours, the users can seamlessly analyze the complete property.

Providing an immersive experience to the users also helps the brands to increase their chances of bookings. Furthermore, with AR mobile apps the users can navigate the hotel property and can get an idea of the amenities available to them. All that helps the brands to attract new customers and entice the existing ones.    

2. AR in Tourist Attractions

Another significant aspect where AR can be used is the tourist attractions. The local tourist places can leverage AR applications to facilitate augmented tours of historical monuments, famous landmarks, buildings, and much more. Just pointing the app towards the monument or any building will offer the complete history and visual tours of that place.

Moreover, AR mobile apps also enable the user to access the complete menu of any restaurant nearby to them, by just pointing at the restaurant building. Augmented Reality even allows tourists to collect real-time information to help them enhance their travel experience.  

3. AR in Local Transit

Augmented Reality even helps the tourists in local transit. Even if someone is at a completely foreign location, AR makes their journey smooth and easy. With AR mobile apps, tourists can get an idea of all the popular attractions, and famous restaurants. 

Along with that, the use of interactive maps also makes it easy for travellers to reach any destination seamlessly. Augmented Reality even eliminates the use of fo travel guides. With a dedicated AR mobile app, the users can et every pertinent travel information in real-time. The use of AR metro apps, in fact, can act as a guide that too in your preferred language. 

4. Beacon Technology and Push Notifications

Beacon technology is a robust application of the Bluetooth platform. AR in beacons can be extremely useful for marketers that want to advertise their brands in a cost-effective manner. As soon as any user enters a specific location, which is nearby to the hotel or restaurant, they can send push notification directly to their smartphones giving brief about the latest offers and services. 

Moreover, the use of beacons also allows the users to leverage their stay amenities like unlocking their hotel rooms, accessing menus, getting real-time reviews, interactive user maps, etc. the brands can even send personalized discounts to their valuable customers using beacon technology! 

5. AR for Museums

Thanks to the awesome Augmented Reality technology, museums are no longer a boring place today. Earlier, the travellers used to find museums a boring place, as it has the only artefacts with a long text to describe them. Only those who were interested in history would visit the museums.

However, with the advent of AR in the travel and tourism industry, things changed significantly. Today, travellers can get complete information in a visual format about any historical things or monuments with just a tap on their smartphones. AR mobile apps have enhanced the site seeing and have fascinated the visitors towards the historical monuments and museums.  

6. AR in Gamification

Last but not least, we have AR in gamification. Although Augmented Reality has long been used in the gaming world, today even the travel and tourism industry is leveraging this robust technology. Many of the leading travel brands are today leveraging AR to attract and fascinate their customers.

Best Western, for instance, uses Augmented Reality technology to let the children watch Disney characters while on their hotel premises. The adults can also use AR mobile apps to redecorate their rooms virtually and engage with the hotel amenities. 

Future of the Travel and Tourism Industry

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So, those were some of the ways in which Augmented Reality has transformed the travel and tourism industry. To conclude, we can say that, technology is the main driving factor of success in today’s competitive world. Many new and leading technologies like AR, VR, AI, and IoT are enhancing the global industries, and the tourism sector is no exception. Witnessing all these, it can be surely said that the travel and tourism sector will soon see a complete change in its operations and will step into the digital world. 

Many leading travel brands have already started to integrate AR in their business operations. When are you planning to? Whether you are a startup or a Fortune 500 company, we, at Matellio, have got you covered!. With our certified developers and years-long experience in the field of AR, we ensure you a smooth and result-oriented AR app development journey. 

Our experienced and reliable developers and testers promise to provide you with an excellent and user-friendly AR app, that will surely transform your travel agency. Have more questions? Reach us today, and get answers to all your questions! Also, get a free 30-min consultation from our experts free on the form filling. So, hurry up! 

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